Mississippi May Become First Abortion-Free State as Hospitals Refuse Last Abortion Facility
Mississippi is poised to become the first abortion-free state in the nation as the last remaining abortion facility within its borders reports that it is having difficulty complying with the law.
Earlier this year, lawmakers in Mississippi passed a regulation that requires abortion facilities in the state to have board certification and obtain admitting privileges. The latter requirement, which allows abortionists to send women that are injured during an abortion to local hospitals for further treatment, was said to serve as a safeguard to protect women that need critical medical care.
After the bill was signed into law, Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the last abortion facility in the state, filed a lawsuit in an attempt to block the requirements. During a hearing in July, the facility explained to the court that it had been unsuccessful in obtaining admitting privileges, and was granted six months of additional time to comply with the law under the direction of federal judge Daniel Jordan.
Jackson Women’s Health Organization now has until January 16th to find a hospital that will grant it admitting privileges, but with one month left to go, the facility says that it is still being refused by area hospitals.
According to court documents filed last week by administrator Shannon Brewer, the facility has applied to seven hospitals in central Mississippi, and all have turned it away. Some locations would not even provide an application to complete.
“At Baptist Medical Center, executive assistant for medical staff services Teresa Ayala told JWHO administrators that hospital would not send an admitting privileges application,” reports Jackson Free Press. “Brewer’s declaration also indicates that Ayala was less than helpful in providing the clinic information it needed to contact Baptist’s physicians.”
University Medical Center in Jackson said that it would only grant admitting privileges to employees of the hospital.
“The other five hospitals that rejected JWHO’s applications–River Oaks Hospital in Flowood, Crossgates River Oaks Hospital in Brandon, Madison River Oaks in Canton, Woman’s Hospital in Jackson and Central Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson–are owned by Naples, Fla.-based Health Management Associates Inc.,” Jackson Free Press continued. “Each of these hospitals responded to JWHO with similarly worded letters citing the hospitals’ abortion policies and concerns about ‘internal and external disruption of the hospital’s function and business within this community.’”
Rusty Thomas of the States of Refuge campaign, which focuses on ending abortion in the five states in America that have just one abortion facility, told Christian News Network that he believes the facility will likely close — just in time for the 40th year of Roe v. Wade.
“All of the pieces of the puzzle are pointing to Jackson, Mississippi for the 40th year of Roe v. Wade,” he stated. “We are on the verge of making history.”
States of Refuge, therefore, is planning a gathering in Jackson in January 2013 instead of Washington, D.C.
“Imagine one state being set free from blood guiltiness,” Thomas said with excitement. “If one state falls, it does send a message that it can continue in other states.”
He said that he hopes that if and when the facility closes, it will encourage others to take a stand for life.
“Hopefully, it would inspire others that you don’t have to wait for the Republican Party or [any] politicians,” Thomas commented. “These are the moments God uses to get others involved.”
The other four states where only one abortion facility remains are Arkansas, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota.
“Once it falls, the march is not over,” Thomas advised. “On to other states.”